What to Write in a Cover Letter

A cover letter or cover e-mail should entice the recipient to read the attached resume

A commonly asked question of career coaches and counsellors is what to write in a cover letter or cover e-mail. [For simplicity, I’ll just use the phrase ‘cover letter’ to refer to both the written letter form and a cover e-mail.] Some people struggle about what to write and reduce the impact of their resume by sending it with a poor cover letter.

First, let us look at the purpose of a cover letter. It is intended to get the recipient to read the enclosed or attached resume – as such it is the first step in attaining a job in the job search process (the purpose of a resume is to get an interview, and the purpose of the interview is for you to show how you match the requirements for the job and thus secure it). Given its purpose then, a cover letter should entice the reader to pay great attention to the attached resume.

The following format is one you can use to persuade the recipient to just that:

Firstly, the cover letter should be addressed to a specific person in the company, preferably the appropriate hiring manager, but if you can’t find out who that is, then the HR manager in charge of recruitment. This is more personal than a “Dear Sir / Madam” and is more likely to be favourably read. If also makes it easier to follow up later. Of course, this involves a little research and sometimes a little detective work to find the name of the appropriate person, but doing so is well worth the effort.

The letter or e-mail should start by stating the specific position you are applying for and mention where you saw the job advertised. If a particular person told you about the vacancy and especially if that person works in the company, mention who ‘recommended’ that you apply. Similarly, even if the person who told you is from outside of the company but it might still be valuable or worthwhile to mention their name and/or position, make sure to do so.

The next paragraph should briefly indicate how you meet the requirements for the job applied for, and this should be done in such a way that the reader will want to see more and will therefore read the resume as well. This is the most important part of the cover letter and you must spend some time on getting the balance right between showing that you are the person for the job and becoming too long-winded! Being concise is what is required here.

You can either continue in the same paragraph or start a new one if the previous one was in any way long, by highlighting some key or relevant positions you have held. For the positions mentioned, you should select one or two very relevant responsibilities and achievements – very relevant here means that they are specifically related to one or more of the key requirements for the job. Again, you need to be very brief and concise.

To finalise, you should tell the reader how to best contact you and when.

The cover letter (or e-mail) should be no longer than one page in length – if it is longer, you need to edit it. An overly long letter or e-mail won’t be read.

Understanding Recruiters

You need to understand recruiters to work well with them

Most people going through the job search process have to deal with recruiters at some point. However, many people are critical about their experience of dealing with them and complain about them not responding to phone calls, being rushed or abrupt, asking for resumes to be sent but never calling back, etc. Understanding more about recruiters and how to partner with them makes the encounter more productive and less stressful.

Types of Recruiters

There are two types of recruiters and they each work differently: agency recruiters, and retained recruiters.

Agency recruiters work on a contingency basis, meaning that they only collect a fee when they place a job seeker with their client company – the person taking up the appointment must stay in the job for a certain duration, generally ninety days. They usually deal with recruitment for junior and middle-level positions.

Retained recruiters are hired exclusively by client companies to manage senior management positions and their fees are paid up-front. As most people’s experience of recruiters is with agency recruiters, they will be our focus in this article.

So what do recruiters actually do?

When a company engages an employment agency, the recruiter contacts the hiring manager involved to gain more specific information on the job vacancy such as responsibilities, required skills, salary, reporting structure, etc. They then check for a match with their own company’s database and also scrutinise major job boards for suitable candidates. In recent years, they are also making greater use of LinkedIn.

Once the recruiter has identified a number of possible candidates, they contact them, usually by phone, for a screening interview. While this may seem like a casual chat to a candidate, it is very much an interview! Their goal is to ascertain the candidates ‘fit’ with the job, their expectations in relation to salary, job advancement, etc, and to discuss why they want to leave their current job (or why they left their last job).

When the recruiter has 8 to 10 candidates that appear to be suitable for the vacant post, they invite them for a more in-depth interview at the agency’s office. This time, as well as focusing on whether the candidate ‘fits’ the job, they collect information on their background (experience, education, goals, etc). If the client company has requested it, there may also be psychometric or aptitude tests. The additional goal in these interviews is that the recruiter wants to screen out any candidates they feel may not stay in the job for three months – their fee depends on this!

When the recruiter has a list of 5 or 6 strong candidates, they send the details to the hiring manager, along with the recruiter’s notes and recommendations. Usually the recruiter then coordinates the interviews for the hiring manager who interviews them.

Many recruiters will coach the candidates on how to approach the interview, how to answer certain questions, what they need to know about the company, etc. This is very valuable and candidates should pay attention to this advice.

As well as getting feedback from each candidate, the recruiter follows up with the hiring manager. If the hiring manager wants to hire one of the candidates, the recruiter establishes the details of the offer to be made and contacts the candidate to discuss the offer. The recruiter acts as a negotiator between the two parties until agreement is reached. Once the candidate starts work and stays for 90 days, the recruiter’s fee of 20% to 30% is paid.

If the hiring manager doesn’t want any of the candidates seen so far, the recruiter restarts the process to look for more candidates.

A follow on article will discuss tips for working better with recruiters.

How to be an ideal candidate for the job

An ideal candidate is an informed candidate

One of the more annoying aspects of the recruitment process for hiring managers are uninformed candidates. This manifests itself in generic resumes been received which are a complete waste of time for busy managers – they spend less than thirty seconds on them before they are thrown into the garbage bin.

Another manifestation of uninformed candidates are those who get invited to interview because their resume was somewhat focused and relevant, but turn out not to know much, if anything, about the company, its structure, its vision and plans, etc. Worse still are those candidates with completely unrealistic expectations of salary, benefits and working conditions. These candidates didn’t do their research and come to the interview uninformed. The majority of hiring managers admit that they will not consider an uninformed candidate even when their qualifications are a match for the job.

So what, you might ask, is an ideal candidate? From what I’ve written above you can already guess that an ideal is an informed candidate – but informed in what way?

Firstly, an ideal candidate’s cover letter will be addressed to the correct person and will briefly and concisely explain how the applicant meets the requirements of the job (which mostly will form the selection criteria for the job). Hiring managers love such cover letters because this entices them to read the attached resume – where the second mark of an ideal candidate should be.

A resume must be focused on the requirements of the job (or the selection criteria if you can discover them – try asking HR for them!). Anything that is not focused on these requirements is fluff and irrelevant. The resume of an ideal candidate will demonstrate how they match against the requirements of the job in terms of experience, skills / competencies and qualifications. For each such resume, the hiring manager will say: “Great! Let’s have a chat with this one.” They know that such a candidate has done their research and is informed.

The third mark of an ideal candidate is that, at interview, they can relate their skills and experience to the requirements of the job, and do so in such a way that they provide appropriate examples of using those skills. Being able to do this is especially important for competency-based or behaviour-based interviews which are becoming more common. Furthermore, the ideal candidate will ask pertinent questions and exhibit knowledge of the company’s culture, values and public strategy while they talk. In short, they demonstrate that they are informed during the interview.

Hiring managers’ view informed candidates as being more reliable and more likely to stay with the company because they know about it from their research. Informed candidates are also seen to be more likely to settle into the job quicker and be productive because they know about the actual job.

So demonstrate that you are informed about the company, the job and its key requirements. You will then be seen by hiring managers as an “ideal” candidate.

Should you keep your LinkedIn profile General or Focused when job hunting

Decide whether to keep your LinkedIn profile focused or general

To be effective, a resume must be focused on the specific requirements of that one job in that particular company. When applying for different jobs, you send (or should send!) differently focused resumes for each position applied for. A LinkedIn profile on the other hand has a potentially much wider audience – and you cannot have (or shouldn’t have!) different profiles for different audiences.

A question arises then, particularly during job hunting, as to whether you should have a general LinkedIn profile, or to focus your profile on your specific target job (i.e. the position you want to secure).

When you are clearly focused in your job search and have a specific job target in mind, a LinkedIn profile focused on that job is the way to go. Your LinkedIn profile will be more consistent with your focused resume, and searches from hiring managers or recruiters related to your job target are more likely to lead to you. So, for people who are searching for a new job, a focused LinkedIn profile is recommended.

However, keeping your profile general will have it look different to your resume and may be more appealing – you can ‘play’ with it more and make it more personal – more ‘you’. Being general, it will attract or match to a wider set of jobs in searches, leaving you open to a wider set of opportunities.

But if it is too general, your profile might not sufficiently match the keywords hiring managers or recruiters might be using in searches – the keywords they use are related to the key requirements for the job they wish to fill. You might end up with a prettier or more attractive profile, but it won’t be particularly useful to your job search if it doesn’t lead to ‘hits’ in job searches or tells recruiters and hiring managers that you have the skills that match their job vacancy.

The other issue in whether your LinkedIn profile should be general or focused is about what your current employer sees! If your profile is very specific or focused on a particular job, and that job is different to the one you are in now, your employer will know that you are looking for a new job. Remember that LinkedIn informs all of your contacts that you have updated your profile, and if you are ‘connected’ to your manager or others in your company, they will see your new profile and status.

If this is not an issue and won’t cause you problems, then go with a focused profile as it will achieve better results when job hunting.

If it is an issue and you don’t want your boss to know you are ‘available’ to the job market, keep your LinkedIn profile more general, but a little focused too – you want searches to lead to you for the jobs you want. The way to do this is to ensure that your profile’s Headline and Summary contain the keywords that match the type of jobs you want. Of course, there will need to be some emphasis on your current role so that your profile seems informative of your current situation and therefore less like you are looking for a new job. This dual approach is ambiguous and will serve both your purposes of looking for a new job while not alerting your boss about what you are doing!

Why your resume might be ignored

Unfocused resumes go into the bin

One of the main complaints from job hunters is that they send out dozens and dozens of resumes, but rarely hear anything back! Does that sound familiar? Perhaps you too have sent out lots of resumes and applications, but are not called for interview. That is not only frustrating for job hunters, but demoralising too.

Having spent a lot of time and effort in preparing a resume that you think is great – and sometimes spending money on resume writers – nothing happens when you e-mail or post it to a company for a job you want. But there is a reason this happens – you are sending out a generic resume!

When most people have finished all the ’donkey work’ in preparing and crafting their resume, not only are they relieved that they have finally ‘completed’ it, but they believe that they can send it out for any job they are interested in. Most people don’t realise that when they have ‘finalised’ their resume, what they have is merely a “master copy” – at this stage, at best, it is a generic resume. At this stage, the resume is about themselves. To get noticed, a resume must be about the company you are targeting for that particular job and that job itself!

Understanding what happens when a person submits a resume or job application will help clarify the situation. When a job is advertised, it states most or all of the responsibilities of that job and also states some of the requirements for the job. Even when a person ‘hears’ about a job from their network or networking, usually also mentioned is certain skills that are required to do it. Sending a ‘generic’ or ‘master copy’ version of their resume doesn’t demonstrate that they will be able to do that job well – it merely tells the story of that persons work life up until that point of time.

To be noticed, a resume should show how the applicant fits the job specification and the requirements for the job – sometimes called the ‘person specification’. Unless it does this, it gets rejected because it is a generic resume. It does not get past the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper can either be a computer software application or a human person. Either way, they are both scanning the resume for key words – words that relate to the requirements for the job. If they are not there, the resume gets rejected. When a human person is scanning resumes, usually they only spend about 30 seconds doing so – a software application does this in even less time! So if a person’s resume is not focused on the specific job in a particular company, it is a generic resume and is not going to get past the gatekeeper.

Furthermore, even if it is read, a generic or unfocused resume indicates to the hiring manager that the applicant didn’t do their homework – they didn’t research the company or the actual job. This is a glaring admission that they are ‘uniformed’, and all hiring managers admit that they won’t hire an uniformed candidate.

So people need to stop sending out the same resume for different jobs – it is a waste of time and effort because it is not focused – it is generic. And generic resumes get rejected!

Why companies should use outplacement support when downsizing and retrenching

Outplacement support has multiple benefits

For various reasons companies in Singapore are downsizing and retrenching staff. In some industries, jobs are being lost to technology, increasingly so since the government placed more emphasis on the need for greater productivity – there are many government schemes in place to support increasing productivity. Jobs are also being lost by moving them overseas to cheaper labour markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam and China.

Every year therefore, more employees in Singapore are receiving the bad news that they are to be made redundant or retrenched. This can be devastating and very frightening news. Employees with families wonder what is to happen to them and their dependents – will they be able to afford the mortgage on their apartment, pay medical fees for elderly parents, and meet other commitments. They worry whether they will be able to find a similar job elsewhere or whether their career has become obsolete. How long will it take to get a new job? The questions are endless and the anxiety high.

Downsizing and retrenching doesn’t just impact the individuals to be laid off. It also affects those whose jobs survive – they too are frightened that it could happen to them. All of this has a big effect on morale and consequently productivity suffers. This negatively impacts the company internally. But there are also external negative impacts – the company’s image and reputation are affected: people view the company as heartless and inhuman for treating their loyal workers this way and this can reduce sales.

Both internal and external negative impact can be greatly reduced if the company provides outplacement support for employees to be retrenched. Such an initiative should be a crucial part of the marketing campaign that accompanies the process. Companies that provide outplacement support are seen as less heartless and even concerned for the ongoing welfare of former staff.

So what is outplacement support? There are two elements to outplacement support. Firstly there is career review, choice and change. This is where retrenched staff receive career coaching to help them review their current worth in the labour market or assist them in choosing a new career. With some upskilling, the person may well be able to continue in the line of work they have previously done, but in industries where jobs are being downsized, usually there is a reduced demand across the board for such jobs. Retrenched staff are encourages to look at a new career, perhaps something they previously had wanted to do but never got around to it. Frequently psychometric inventories or assessments (often incorrectly called personality tests – but they are not ‘tests’ as there are no right or wrong answers!) can be used to suggest a career in which they might find fulfillment and contentment. Strengths-based and values-based approaches are often used too. The objective is that the person will have a clear idea of the job and career that they are going to pursue. This clarity and specificity is necessary for successful job searching, which is the focus of the second element of outplacement support.

People who have been employed for an extended period usually do not have the knowledge and skill required to successful secure a job in modern day Singapore. They need to know how to craft an impactful resume and to be able to refocus it on the specific requirements of an employer for a particular job. They also need to know how to promote themselves in an interview as the best candidate for the job in question. And before getting an interview and sending in a resume, they need to know the three approaches to finding an available job in Singapore. Outplacement support equips people with these necessary skills and knowledge.

The benefits to a company of providing outplacement support to retrenched staff is twofold: it lessens the negative impact internally as both outgoing and surviving staff see the company as supportive in the process; and through well-managed public relations and marketing, customers and the public in general don’t view it as heartless and only focused on the bottom line. The earlier outplacement support is planned and engaged the better – this gives retrenched workers more time to find a new job – hopefully even before their current one disappears.

How To Negotiate A Higher Salary: 10 Scientific Tips For Success

negotiating salary

There comes a time when you’re tired of waiting for your boss to recognize your achievements at work with a pay raise. Instead, you’re ready to ask for it yourself.

Or perhaps you’re about to get a new job and would like to negotiate a higher starting salary.

Many people are scared or hesitant to ask for a raise or negotiate their salary – or, even worse, they go about it the wrong way because they have no experience or training in how to actually make it work.

First, it’s important to settle one point: salary negotiation does not make you greedy or make you look bad. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Studies show that people confident enough to ask for validation of their hard work and achievements actually appear favorable in the eyes of employers.

However, the catch is that you need to know how to ask, as errors can backfire and actually set you back career-wise. So, what are some tricks that you can use to get that raise you’ve been waiting for?

Take a look at these 10 tips on how to negotiate salary, that might seem to make little sense at first, but in reality are proven to work.

Be Personal

Share something personal with your employer that humanizes you and makes you more trustworthy, instead of being just another face in the crowd.

If employers think of you as an actual person rather than simply an employee, they are more likely to empathize with your desire for a raise and grant you what you’re asking for.

Use Specific Numbers

An exact number such as $103,000, for example, instead of the more round $100,000, leads your boss to believe that you conducted research or otherwise thought this figure through rather than just coming up with it off the top of your head.

This makes your proposal more legitimate and thus more convincing.

Use a Price Range

You can be specific while also not limiting yourself to just one number.

Providing a range not only shows that you’re willing to negotiate, but also makes it more likely that you’ll get the salary you actually desire, if you provide figures that are both higher and lower.

Ask for Their Opinion

If you have a connection in the organization who may be able to influence your salary figure, ask them for advice.

This not only flatters the person (making them more likely to agree with what you ask), but can also give you an actual gauge of what you should be aiming for and what is the best approach to take.

Don’t Settle

It may go against our best judgment, but thinking of the negotiation as a “compromise” is not likely to land you the figure you desire.

Instead, thinking of it as a competition where you are trying to get something that your employer doesn’t want to give, will put you in the right mindset to achieve what you actually want.

Avoid Face-to-Face Interaction

Although we traditionally think that face-to-face negotiations are more personal and thus more likely to turn out in your favor, in reality they most often end up in a victory for the person who is already in power.

That’s because, among other things, the person who has less power – you – is subconsciously holding back out of a fear of displeasing their employer.

Instead, try starting out negotiations over email if you are talking to someone who is higher ranked or in a more powerful position than you are.

Make Eye Contact

It’s a sign of confidence that shows your employer you mean business, and also makes it harder for them to turn you down (while looking you directly in the eyes).

Bring up Your Concerns at the Start

If you aren’t happy with an offer you have received, let your employer know this at the beginning – although in a mature and not overly disappointed way, of course.

That’s because you have the best chance of negotiating when you have all your issues/points on the table and can talk directly with your employer, instead of skating around some issues and bringing them up sometime in the future.

Be the Starter

Starting out with a first offer means that you get to control the numbers you are working with in your negotiation – not your employer.

As a result, setting a high first number (higher than what you are expecting to receive) sets a standard for the discussion that will ultimately result in a higher salary for you.

Provide Just a Few Reasons

You’ll want to explain why you think you deserve a salary increase, but without boring or overwhelming your employer.

Choose the best reasons and list them out clearly and briefly. Stick to less than two reasons per argument.

Use this approach to get your next job in Asia

use referrals to get a job in singapore

The question we get most often from job seekers is, “How do I get a good job”

This is a loaded question and tough to answer quickly. Which is why we’ve prepared a complete set of guides on the topic.

However, I wanted to touch upon one job search technique, which people don’t use enough or effectively.


When employers are looking for a new people, one of their preferred hiring sources is a referral from someone they trust.

If you’re looking for a job, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting a referral that will land you a job.

List 10 to 15 companies you want to work for and have a good chance of being hired at.

It is important to be realistic here.

If you went to an average university and you haven’t been a top performer for your employer, your chances of getting hired with a highly competitive organization are probably slim.

Don’t devote all your time, effort, and hopes, on jobs that will more than likely not work out.

In your list, have a few companies that are a stretch for you to get into, a few that are just right, and a few that are a safe bet as backup.

Make a list of 20-30 people.

These should be individuals who you know reasonably well, who like you and who may also know someone importance at one of the companies you listed in step one.

Once you have your list of people, document how you will contact them. Some people prefer emails, and some might appreciate a phone call, so make sure you reach out to them accordingly.

Get something from each of those 20 people.

Try to get as many of the following as possible from every person you contact:

  • Resume and LinkedIn profile feedback.
  • An introduction to a potential employer. Shoot for a face-to-face meeting, but if that’s not possible, ask for a good word to be put in on your behalf. Or, see if your contact will pass your resume on to the potential employer. At the least, ask if you can use their name as a referral.
  • Any other companies or people your contact thinks you should get in touch with.
  • If your contacts don’t have any leads, ask if they’re willing to keep their ears open and contact you when one comes up.

Make sure that you give your contacts a synopsis that tells them the types of jobs you’re most interested in.

Also throw in a subtle bit of marketing, to let them know why you’re a good person to recommend. People won’t want to put their reputation at risk by recommending someone who turns out to be a lemon.

Contact people at your shortlisted organizations.

This could be people who your contacts introduced you to or recommended, or, for organizations for which you didn’t receive any warm leads, a cold outreach. LinkedIn is a great source for finding relevant people extremely fast. Have a look at the networking section of our job search guide for the best ways to use LinkedIn.

Ideally, the person will have the power to hire you, but it could be someone on a similar level, or a little lower, who could get you into a meeting with a hiring manager.

As a last resort, contact human resources, which could still be helpful to you.

Use your connection’s name when you communicate with the company.

Try to get something out of your interaction with people in target companies.

Ideally, you’ll get an interview and subsequent job offer out of your interaction.

If not, try to yield something of value like feedback on your resume, or the start of a relationship that makes you known to the hiring powers. Of perhaps some valuable insider information about the company/industry.

If the meeting doesn’t turn up anything, ask if you can contact them again in some time, to see if anything has changed.

Simple right?

It actually is. It’s just that most people turn straight to job sites/boards when looking for a job, and don’t really use their existing contacts for referrals in a big or organised way.

But once people try this, they see how well it works and like how much control it gives them over their job search, especially compared to some other ‘black-hole’ methods like job sites and often recruiters.

Cover letter blunders you should steer clear of

cover letter mistakes how to write

Cover letters are a tricky part of the application material process.

Studies have shown that the vast majority of employers/recruiters (~90%) claim they don’t read them most of the time.

At the same time, many of them say they like candidates who include a cover letter (~50%).

What this means is that while your cover letter has a positive impact, the chances of it not getting read are high

Despite this inconsistency, knowing how to properly format, present, and construct a cover letter is a valuable skill that every job hunter must pursue to perfect.

To help you get started in your journey toward that awesome new position, I’ve put together a list of common cover letter blunders to avoid.

By sidestepping these potential pitfalls, your cover letter will stand a higher chance of being read/acknowledged.

Including the Cover Letter as a Separate Attachment

One goal of the cover letter is to get people to open your resume.

So where possible, don’t include the cover letter as an attachment in addition to your resume.

That makes the employer’s job harder and reduces the chances of your documents being read. It is also ignored by application tracking systems often.

For example, if you are sending an email application, then include the cover letter text in the email body itself.

Using General/Overused Words, Without Being Specific

Comments about “being the ideal match,” or “being a results oriented,” often result in the recruiter rolling their eyes.

If you really want to impress the recruiter, your examples of such qualifications need to be specific, and genuine.

Typos and Formatting Errors

It has been shown that 70% of recruiters will automatically dismiss any applicant with typos or formatting errors present in their cover letter.

Before sending in material to a company, always check a few times, to make sure it is devoid of any issues.

Talking too Much About Yourself

Knowing your audience is half the battle when trying to impress a recruiter/employer.

Once you know what they’re looking for, use the cover letter to explain what you can do for them.

It’s about them. Not you.

Too Much Duplication

Nobody wants to read the same material twice.

If you simply use your cover letter to repeat your resume, the recruiter will become bored, and become more dismissive of your candidacy.

Writing a Novel

Similar to typos, most recruiters/employers prefer brief cover letters.

In fact, a cover letter that is a half-page or less is often considered the strongest.

Avoid novelistic writing, and keep your application material strong, short, and attractive.

Going Overboard with Praise

Don’t be hyperbolic about your love or admiration of the company.

If you do this, it will make you look unprofessional, and possibly disingenuous.

Flattery is welcome; just keep your compliments reasonable and keep the focus on what you can do for them.

Using the Same Cover Letter for All Jobs

While your cover letters might follow the same structure for most applications, as far as possible, try to tailor them for different roles. Generic and one-size-fits all letters, will have a lower success rate.

Did you ask for too high a salary during your interview? Here's how to make a comeback

job interview expected salary too high

One tough job interview question to prepare for is this: “What were you expecting salary wise?”

Although this question may seem simple, it is often one the last questions you will be asked, making it of utmost importance that you end on a strong note.

In reality, there will always be times where an employer states/thinks that your asking price is above their means.

When this happens, you need to know how to make a comeback, and recover from stating an expected salary that is too high.

Here are some effective ways to approach this important interview scenario:

Request Information about the Full Salary Package

Once you’ve felt tension, simply ask the employer if they can share a realistic salary range with you.

Although it may be somewhat broad, it is unlikely the employer will state a range that is far off from what you can realistically expect.

Additionally, be sure to request information about additional compensation, such as allowances, bonuses, stock options and benefits associated with the position, as these can add major value to your negotiating power.

Sometimes the basic salary for a position might be low but the add-ons can make up for this. Also some companies might not allow much negotiation with the basic pay but are more flexible with the additional compensation.

In case you feel you asked for too much, you can also say that you were including add-ons and can adjust your figure once you have more details. You can also request for some time to go over the information and think about it.

Research Before Asking Again

Most people do research about salary expectations before an interview to avoid this situation in the first place, but occasionally your research may be misguided.

After you’ve experienced an awkward knockback from your requested price, it is time to sit back and do more in-depth research on platforms like Glassdoor and Quora using the new information you have received.

It’s also very useful if you can speak with ex-employees of the company to get a good sense of the typical compensation. Previous employees are more likely to share detailed information. Use your network to find such people – LinkedIn make it very easy to do this.

Reach a Decision

After you’ve determined a fair salary that you can realistically expect an employer to pay, you must make a decision on whether or not to take a job.

Be sure to consider all living expenses and needs before coming up with a number you will present to the interviewer during a follow-up. Also take into account how much you like the job/company and the prospects for future career growth.

Be firm with yourself about the smallest salary you are willing to accept, that way you can stay vigilant about reaching that bottom line when approaching the interviewer with your newly determined salary expectation.

Don’t Beat Around the Bush

Once you’re clear on the course of action it’s time to get back in touch with the interviewer for a follow-up.

Always make sure that you deliver this salary expectation with purpose, directness, and honesty, that way they know you are sincere in your request.

If you feel a higher salary is justified, let them know why, and they can then make a decision on whether or not they value your talent enough to pay the requested amount.

Overall, by avoiding wishy-washy requests, you will save both you and the interviewer a lot of time and frustration, allowing everyone to walk away from the situation happy.

7 Tips for job interview success (backed by research)

Tips for job interview success

To help you get ready for your next big job interview, here are some research-backed techniques that will help you get that new job successfully.

Have a Conversation With Yourself

Studies have shown that this is a perfectly effective way to prepare ourselves for situations such as job interviews.

Simply telling yourself that “you can do this,” or “you’re going to do great,” has the potential to help you feel more confident in yourself.

Compliment, but Avoid Self-Promotion

Research has found that people had the most success at job interviews if they complimented the company and the interviewer.

While you shouldn’t over do the compliments, you should always show your interest, admiration and knowledge of the company and the position you’re interviewing for.

The research also showed that it’s best to avoid self-promotion beyond the factual presentation of your skills and achievements, otherwise you risk coming off as conceited, which will hurt your ability to be hired.

Stop the Fake Smiling

Positive body language and eye contact is extremely important in the interview.

Smiling, leaning forward, body orientation, strong eye contact and more have the ability to impress.

Fake smiling or other insincere body language, however, will work against you.

Visualize Your Confidence

Did you know that top athletes often use positive mental imagery to help boost their performance?

Just as athletes do this, you can use this same technique to visualize your own success and picture how you would look/feel/behave during an excellent job interview.

Candidates who approached job interviews in this manner performed better than those who did not.

Don’t Hide Your Weaknesses

Everybody has a weak spot in their personality, resume, or skillset, so don’t try and pretend like you are the one perfect candidate out there.

Instead of hiding your weaknesses, think of a way to bring them up early on and be upfront about how you’re working to improve them.

Additionally, if you bring up these weaknesses near the beginning as opposed to the end, the recruiter is more likely to remember the positive qualities they learned about you at the end of the interview.

Be a Bit Different

In one study, researchers found that interviewers gave higher ratings to candidates who answered the typical interview questions in a different/unique way.

Your Handshake is Important

Having a firm and confident hand shake has an effect on hiring recommendations, especially for women candidates.

Try practicing your handshake with someone you can trust and get honest feedback.

Advantages of using business cards during your job search

job search singapore - mini resume

In most cases, people have business cards to help them connect with new clients or partners.

However, a business card can also be useful when you are looking for a job.

Here’s some advantages of carrying a business card during your job search and a few tips as well.

1)Cards Can Beat Resumes

Resumes may have the benefit of having more information about your skills and experience, but a business card has the advantage of communicating information in an immediate and aesthetically pleasing manner.

Additionally, cards help cut down on the bulk of carrying around a heavy stack of resumes.

Cards can fit basically anywhere, whether it be a pocket, suitcase, or wallet, making it easy for both you, and the people you give them to, to carry around.

2) People Will Remember You

Unless you have a very memorable set of skills, people are more likely to remember your face before they remember your resume, name or background.

A business card makes it easier for people to recall more about you.

To really ensure people remember you, think about possibly placing a small portrait of yourself on your business card.

3) Networking Is Easier

When networking with people, everyone tends to prefer business cards to simple phone numbers.

Also when people give you their card it’s natural for you to hand one over in return.

If you want to ensure you don’t miss out on a potentially stellar connection, you need to have an easy to hand off business card on you at all times.

Types of Business Cards for Job Seekers

Generally speaking, there exist two kinds of business cards you can create: resume cards and personal business cards.

Resume Cards

Also referred to as “mini-resume” cards, a resume card functions as a smaller and streamlined version of your regular resume.

For those who worry about cutting their resume down to one page, this proposition can seem like a nightmare.

However, if done correctly, a resume card is a great way to impress future employers.

For a successful resume card, you should include the following:

  • Contact Details
  • A Photograph
  • List of Key Jobs/Education and Key Achievements from Your Current/Past Positions

Easier to carry than a resume, and certainly more visually attractive, a resume card is perfect to give out to individuals you specifically talk about future job positions with.

job search singapore - mini resume
Image courtesy https://jobmob.co.il


Personal Business Cards

A personal business card, on the other hand, looks more like a regular business card. It avoids mentioning that you’re looking for the job and also avoids providing details of previous employers.

Overall, this sort of card should simply aspire to represent how you see yourself as a professional.

Here are a few of the key things you could include on a successful personal business card:

  • Current Job Title or Profession
  • A few words about yourself
  • Your Website/LinkedIn Profile/Other Social Network Handles
  • A Photograph or Logo
  • Contact Details
peosonal business card singapore jobs
Image courtesy https://jobmob.co.il